Author: Anime Ronin
Rating: PG – 13
Disclaimer: Joss and ME owns Buffy, Belliruss et al own Navy NCIS
Challenge: TTH Challenge 336 - Xander decided to join the Marines after Graduation (you choose if he becomes a normal Marine or if he ends up in Spec Ops). Sometime during his enlistment he comes in contact with the NCIS team as they investigate a crime.
Summary: Enlisting out of high school, Xander thought his military career would be nice, quiet and he’d serve his time and then just get out. Yeah, right – like that’s going to happen.
AN: Xander has had no contact with the Scoobies outside of letters since he left – Buffy is dead, Sunnydale is toast, but they managed to defeat the First without calling all the Slayers. Don’t expect to see anything of them in this fic, only mentioning and in Flashbacks.
(Forensics Lab – 0844 3 February 2004)
Abby walked into her lab and knew immediately something was amiss – first off, she had not left the lights on the previous night, her computers had been shut off and her chair, which NOBODY touched, was currently not behind her desk, but rather in front of a remote terminal … and it was occupied.
“Abby?” Agent Timothy McGee was a sweetie, at first look that much was certain, but sometimes he managed to get on her nerves, “Is something wrong?”
“Yeah, there is, Tim. Alright, who are you and why are you in MY chair?”
The figure didn’t turn around as he, as it was definitely male, clacked away on the keys and absently put in a CD into the computer as it ejected another one – even seated, he was tall, built like most military types that came through the place, though they were generally dead, dressed in civilian clothing that had the hint of military with the way the creases and pleats were, and he also was bobbing his head absently as a tiny radio was blasting out a song that her mind finally placed, ‘I Disappear’ by Metallica. He merely raised a hand, as if to say ‘in a minute’ and that made her growl slightly.
“I think the lady asked you a question, sir.” Even as McGee spoke, she could hear the tone in his voice and knew that this wasn’t going to be pretty even as the figure stiffened and stood. She was right – he was tall, a little over six feet, and when he turned she repressed a squeal of delight as she saw the face of her old friend Alex, but it then registered that he was scowling.
“Excuse me? What did you call me?” Even as he strode forwards, Abby could see the remarkable resemblances between Alex and Gibbs – both HATED to be called ‘sir’ and for good reason.
“I called you ‘sir’.”
Alex got within arm’s reach and then looked at his shoulders theatrically, “I’m sorry, but do you see butter bars, stars, oak leaves or eagles on these shoulders, kid? DON’T call me ‘sir’, boy, ‘cause I WORK for a living.”
She couldn’t help it – Abby snapped to attention and didn’t salute, “Staff Sergeant Harris, I understand you, Staff Sergeant Harris!”
He looked over at her, obviously trying to not smile, and nodded, “Out-STAND-ing, Abby. Now, assume the hugging position.” She leapt forwards and wrapped her arms around his neck, squeezing as he did the same, except around her waist, and for the barest instant, all was right in her world, but then he let go and looked her up and down, “Still doing the Goth thing, Abby?”
She smirked, “Hey, when you’ve got it, flaunt it.”
He snorted, “True – who’s he?”
“Staff Sergeant Alexander Harris, meet my boyfriend Agent Timothy McGee of NCIS. Tim, meet someone who is at least as dangerous as Gibbs.” This got an arched eyebrow out of the both of them, but she only acknowledged Alex’s, “Hey, you can build any kind of bomb you want – that makes you dangerous.”
Tim took that point to get into the conversation, “So, WHY are you here?”
Alex gave him a look, “I’m uploading some new software into the system on bombs we’ve run across in the Middle East over the past year – I have the work orders, authorization and the consent to do so, so it’s all kosher.” She watched him walk back to the terminal and load another disk into the waiting computer, “So, Abs, how’re things around here?”
She shrugged, “Not too bad – we did a case on an EOD guy like you not too long ago.”
Tim spoke up this time, “EOD?”
She looked at him, “Explosive Ordinance Dispoal – bombs and bomb-making stuff. They learn to build and disarm things like that.”
“Done.” She looked over and Alex began to pack up his things, “Nice to see you again, Abs, but I gotta go – I’m getting discharged later on today.”
She smiled, “Even with all of the people they’re keeping in with the war and all?”
He shrugged, “My CO wants me gone – apparently he’s tired of me doing his job and my job better than he can do his alone.”
“Commanding Officers can be like that, Mr. Harris.” Abby jumped at Gibbs’ voice – she hated it when he snuck into the room like that, “You give any thought to my offer?”
“That I have, Gunny, and I accept.” She looked at Gibbs, then at Alex, and saw them both smiling slightly – this could not be good.
(Later – Autopsy)
Kate watched as Ducky began to put up x-rays of another corpse and mumbled to himself, “Ducky, are you okay?”
He turned and looked at her owlishly for a moment before snapping out of it, “What? Oh, I’m fine, Caitlin, but rumor has it that Gibbs hired someone new today, an old acquaintance of ours. I do hope it’s true – Alexander has an appreciation for my stories that some here are sorely lacking.” He gave her a look and she shrugged.
“Who is he?”
“Alexander Harris of California – Marine, EOD specialist and quite a nice young fellow. He was here on a case of ours helping identify a device used to detonate a Commander’s car while he, his wife and child were in it – I fear Alexander took the case to heart due to the child and made it an obsession to close it.”
“When was this?”
Ducky looked thoughtfully up at the ceiling, “About two years ago, maybe a little more – not long after the attack on New York. Tony was fairly new, as was Abby, and Alexander was at the top of his graduating class.”
She quirked an eyebrow, “So, he’s a brainiac type?”
Ducky chuckled at that, “No, more of an intuitive thinker than a book-smart individual, Kate – he never told us, but I could see the signs of a harsh childhood and know that he trusts his instinct more than he trusts the cold hard facts of a case. Take this x-ray for example – here, here and here,” he showed her, “are breaks in the bone, caused by blunt-force trauma, but he takes this in context and sees what might be there and what we also miss, like these hairline fractures that I see now. Our poor sailor on the slab over there was summarily bludgeoned to death by what appears to be a bowling pin, with the bruising and the shape of these breaks.”
“So who can we pin it on, Duck?” Kate winced at the joke that Tony, who had sat surprisingly silently in the room with them, made.
Ducky snorted, “That was a terrible pun, Anthony – and I cannot tell you.”
The doors to Autopsy opened up and in walked Gibbs, but following him was a dark-haired young man in slacks, a short-sleeved button-up shirt, and he had a bag in his left hand. Kate felt her mouth go dry – he was GORGEOUS! Okay, so he was easily five years younger than her, but still!
“Tony, Duck, you remember Harris, right?”
Tony laughed slightly, “Hey, man, good to see ya.” He and the man, Harris, shook hands, matching smirk for smirk as they broke away, “So, you’re signing on in this loony bin?”
“Of course I am, DiNozzo – someone has to bring up the standard of your humor.” Kate stifled a chuckle while both Gibbs and Ducky openly laughed and Tony looked chagrinned.
“I’ll have you know that I am the funniest man in all of NCIS, kid.”
Kate couldn’t resist the opening, “Funniest looking, maybe, funniest dressed, definitely.” Tony gave her a wounded look as she walked forwards, “Kate Todd, welcome to the madhouse.”
“Xander Harris, and I’ve been here before.” He looked past her and smiled, the voice he had been using changing to a broad cockney accent, “Doctor Mallard – bloody good to see ya again, old chap.”
“Good to see you too, Alexander – your mimicry has gotten much better since our last encounter.” She watched them shake hands for a second before Ducky turned back to his x-rays, “So, what do you think?”
‘Xander’s’ eyes narrowed as he looked at the pictures and he frowned, “Conclusive with preliminary findings, but look at the vertebrae about mid-picture – someone else got in a good shot with something a lot harder and smaller.”
Ducky peered closer, “Yes – I’ll examine a bit closer, but I fear with the amount of decay, we may be searching for a lost cause.”
“Come on, Ducky,” Tony said in his easy way, throwing an arm around first Xander’s and then her shoulders, pulling them closer to him, “we specialize in lost causes.”
(Later, yet again, Bull Pen)
“So, Gibbs, what do you think of this guy, Harris?” He looked up and over at Kate, who was finishing up a stack of paperwork, “I mean, Marine solidarity aside, does he have what it takes?”
“Of course he does, Kate,” Tony said from his desk, where he too was working on his paperwork. “Kid’s a natural – I mean, take the Boss, shave twenty or so years off him and you get Harris.”
“I was never that skinny, DiNozzo.” Tony was right, though – he and Xander were so much alike that it was scary.
Kate looked over at him, “So, what brought him in on that first crime?”
Leaning back in his seat, he began to remember.
“How did we get saddled with a snot-nosed punk out of training, sir?” The speaker was none other than Jethro Gibbs, former Gunnery Sergeant of the Marines, and he was speaking to his boss on the phone, the NCIS director, “How can we trust his findings? He doesn’t have any experience.”
(He has enough experience that he not only flew through training, Gibbs, but he also graduated at the top of his class, turned down BUD/S training and OCS, and if I believe his note from this morning, rigged a small charge to the bottom of your chair, which you happen to be sitting in right now.) Gibbs froze even as the Director went on, (His teachers say the kid is a natural when it comes to blowing shit up, Jethro, ten different kinds of scary, and I tend to believe them.)
“Sir, I’m sitting on a BOMB.”
(I know you are – spin around and meet the ‘snot-nosed punk’.) The Director hung up and Gibbs spun around to see a Marine in Class B uniform, wearing Corporal stripes and a serious expression while standing at attention.
“Mind disarming this bomb, kid?”
“It was never armed, Agent Gibbs – it was something my CO told me to do to not only make a point, but to get him even with you.” He was young, barely over twenty, if that, but not full of the attitude that he’d thought the punk would be, “Snot-nosed punk reporting as ordered, Gunny.”
“A moment of arrogance on my part, Kate.” Tony and Kate looked at him as he stood and put his gun from his drawer into his holster, “Trust me, the kid is as good as he thinks he is and better than most people know.”
AN: Alright, here's the first part of this story - it gets better. R&R.